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A stop for a faulty tail light that went too far

April 23, 2014 by 4 Comments

In State v Hillman Blesdell-Moore the NH Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Blesdell-Moore’s conviction for possession of marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms with the intent to distribute must be reversed. The Court reversed the decision of the trial court (Vaughn, J.) who ruled the search that ultimately lead to discovery of the drugs was constitutional. Blesdell-Moore was pulled over by Officer...

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Texting and driving a crime?

February 28, 2014 by Leave your thoughts

In State v. Belleville, the defendant was driving his SUV on Route 28 in Pittsfield when he decided to read a text on his phone. While he was reading the text his vehicle drifted over two travel lanes and collided with a car traveling in the opposite direction resulting in serious injuries to a child and others. The defendant quickly...

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It’s not a taser!

October 23, 2013 by Leave your thoughts

In State v. Tabaldi the NH Supreme Court ruled that the State had produced insufficient evidence that Mr. Tabaldi was a felon in possession of an electronic defense weapon commonly referred to as a “taser.” RSA 159:21 defines an electronic defense weapon as “an electronically activated non-lethal device which is designed for or capable of producing an electrical charge of...

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Amnesia does not necessarily render a defendant incompetent to stand trial

September 16, 2013 by Leave your thoughts

In State v. Decato, the New Hampshire Supreme Court recently addressed the issue of whether a defendant who cannot remember what happened at the time of his alleged crime is competent to stand trial? The Court answered that even though Decato suffered from amnesia and could not remember what he did he was competent to stand trial. In New Hampshire competency...

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New Hampshire Supreme Court upholds postnuptial agreements

August 29, 2013 by Leave your thoughts

Most people are familiar with the concept of a prenuptial agreement, an agreement between a couple planning on getting married about how issues such as division of property will be resolved if they are ever divorced in the future.  Less well known, but increasingly common are postnuptial agreements.  Like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement determines how issues relating to a...

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New Hampshire Self Defense Statute

NH Self Defense Statute

July 16, 2013 by 4 Comments

In the wake of the verdict in the George Zimmerman case, it makes sense to examine New Hampshire’s self defense law. In 2011 the New Hampshire Legislature voted to expand the so-called NH stand your ground law to allow people to use deadly force to protect themselves in public spaces. This law is codified in RSA 627:4. Prior to 2011,...

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When Plea Bargaining Goes Wrong

When plea bargaining goes wrong.

May 6, 2013 by 6 Comments

Most everyone knows that plea bargaining is a regular part of our criminal justice system.  It’s been estimated that about 95% of all felony conviction nationwide come by plea bargain rather than a jury trial.   In fact, without plea bargaining the court dockets would be overwhelmed and the system would get bogged down. While on many occasions plea bargaining...

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Search warrant required for blood draw.

April 17, 2013 by Leave your thoughts

  On April 17, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court issued the opinion of Missouri v McNeely and ruled that it violates the Fourth Amendment for a police officer to forcefully take a driver’s blood as part of a routine DWI investigation. Tyler McNeely was stopped for speeding and crossing the center line at about 2:00 AM. McNeely did poorly on field sobriety tests and...

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Improper cross-examination technique persists

April 2, 2013 by 1 Comment

One of the toughest decisions a defendant has to make is whether or not to testify.  Usually the first question a defendant will ask is — what is the prosecutor going to ask me about if I go on the stand? Over the past several years, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has been clear about what the prosecutor can’t ask...

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